Get Smart and The New Get Smart

Get Smart (1965-1970)
The New Get Smart (1995)
Type: Spin Off

   By enlarge, if you see a show that's name starts with "The New...", run. Run for the hills and hide in a deep cave until you hear someone call the all clear. A bomb of atomic proportions is about to land.

   That's the case with Get Smart and The New Get Smart. The original series was a parody of spy movies and television shows like James Bond and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Maxwell Smart and his partner 99 were secret agents for the U.S. agency C.O.N.T.R.O.L. fighting against the evil enemy organization K.A.O.S. The joke was that Maxwell Smart wasn't all that smart. He was a fairly bad agent who usually accomplished his missions by luck or by the expert work of his partner 99. It's a classic show which spawned a number of catch phrases. When Smart would nearly get killed by, say, a bullet, he would say "Missed me by that much." Or when in a tight spot with an enemy agent, you might get the following exchange:

"Just to let you know, this building is surrounded by 500 government sharp shooters."

"I find that very hard to believe."

"Would you believe 100?"




"A couple of guys with pointed sticks?"

   Twenty five years after Get Smart left the air, the FOX television network had the brilliant idea to revive the show. They now had Max as the head of C.O.N.T.R.O.L. 99 had moved on into politics. So a new pair of agents was introduced featuring comedian Andy Dick as bumbling agent Zach Smart, Max and 99's son, and Elaine Hendrix as the smart and beautiful Agent 66. As I've said above though, like most old shows made new again, it stunk on ice and was quickly cancelled. It was stale. Nothing new or orignial was brought to the table. In the years since the original show, Don Adams had taken much of his schtick from the original show and worn it out further in other projects such as playing the voice of the animated Inspector Gadget. By the time of the New Get Smart Max's "Missed me by"s and "Would you believe"s were overused and abused.

   My question with shows like this is do the producers even try? It seems like they choose a formerly proven vehicle to bring back and then hope that will be enough, hope and pray that they don't have to actually attempt to do anything more with it. Hello! Most of these shows that get bastardized into "new" versions were hits in the first place because they tried new things and were different. The "new" versions almost never take chances and count soley on being associated with the original show to hopefully become popular - they try to be the same old thing instead of new and different.

   One more thing of note. While the New Get Smart was in production, star Andy Dick went on a press tour to promote the show along with his other show on NBC - News Radio. While on this press tour, he slammed the New Get Smart hard. I don't remember what exactly he said, but I do remember it was very negative and hardly something that would draw people into actually watching the show. Now like I have said, the show was pretty bad but even with that being said, Andy Dick lived up to his family name. What the hell? The producers of the show actually pay you money to work on a show they hope will be a hit and you give them back crap? Any TV show on the air has a crew of people working on it who are counting on that show to succeed so that they can keep working and making money. The actors, the crew, the office workers are all pulling together to make this show work (even if they are fumbling the ball in terms of quality), you are getting paid probably more than any of them and you have the nerve to spit on them in public? How dare you. If you thought the show was bad you shouldn't have taken the job. Or told the producers you were out until they improved it, talked to them in private ANYTHING other than going to the press and smugly joking about how bad the show is. Yo! Dick! Get smart!

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